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Message From Sandra Thomas, ed.D.
Welcome to the Department of Student Services. Our department focus is to provide support services to students, faculty, staff and to parents. Each year the Student Services Department develops goals to ensure that all students can maximize their potential for academic success by developing the necessary skills to think critically, to socialize appropriately and to become responsible citizens of their community.
Joliet Public Schools District 86 serves a culturally, linguistically, and economically diverse population, of over 10,000 pre-kindergarten through eighth grade students in 21 sites. Special Education Services are a dynamic force within the department, offering a full continuum of service delivery model to over 1500 students with disabilities.
In addition to servicing the students of our attendance area with Learning Disabilities, Emotional Disorders, Communication Disorders, Autism, Mental Retardation, and Speech and Language Impairments. Joliet Public Schools District 86 also provides educational services to the Hard of Hearing and Multiply Impaired populations of Will County and surrounding region. We also provide an Alternative School for those students in the county with significant emotional and behavioral needs.
Special education services are mandated by federal law and regulated by state statues. The purpose of special education is to identify and educate students with disabilities. The special education personnel are responsible for the evaluation and the determination process, this entails identifying students with disabilities but also protecting the rights of ineligible students. Special education staff identifies students with disabilities by gathering information on the student's functional levels, learning styles, emotional development and global strengths and weaknesses. Special education offers the same curriculum, but with the ability to provide alternate instructional strategies, materials, and methodologies based on the needs of the individual. The department is also responsible for identifying and providing the necessary related services and support which allow a student to fully benefit from his/her individualized educational program (IEP).
The Student Services Department looks forward to joining you as partners to enable our students to succeed in all of their endeavors.